(Pic of WWJ (with Grogu / Baby Yoda) taken on 12/26/2020) 🙂
-Man, what a messed up year 2020 has been! Not just for me but for so many people. Of course, in my opinion, no matter what is happening in the world, there will always be those who do well and those who don’t – doesn’t matter who’s in charge or the state of the world. Like so many others, 2020 was not a good year for me on several fronts. While nothing happened that was as bad as the passing of my Dad in late 2019, just the overall number of bad things that did happen…If there’s one word I could use to sum up 2020 for myself, it’s “frustration” for the most part. Having said that, there were some good things so let me recap how things were for me in the year 2020.
-The biggest thing that has impacted myself-and basically the world at large- is Covid-19 (the virus / the pandemic / whatever else you want to call it…). The whole series of events linked to this has changed so many things-a number of them permanently. Just speaking for myself, I had to get used to wearing a mask every time I was outside / at work / in public. I don’t mind per se, but it is like a double-edged sword for me. Yes, it helps to prevent me from getting the virus (just wish the science behind this wasn’t so conflicting…) and, just as important, helps me not spread it to someone else if I get it, but because I have Sarcoidosis (Sarco) in my lings, I suffer from shortness of breath at times-which wearing a mask does not help with. Sarco has also compromised my immune system so I’m more vulnerable to other auto-immune diseases plus other nastiness. Outside of work, bill paying and a few other things, I’m not out much these days. Sometimes I joke that all I need is my bills paid, a place to live, food & water and a Playstation 5 with reliable WI-Fi and I’ll just fade away. It doesn’t help that it seems like the amount of hatred and / whacked out people roaming out in public seems to be on the rise so maybe it’s not a bad idea to be a hermit right? Just a little joke-or is it? 🙂
-2020 saw “frustration” appearing more & more into my life-especially once Covid-19 hit the United States. The lock down caused a lot of challenges and compromises. Things like getting something done at the DMV-which might normally take days-now took weeks or months (even when it finally opened back up). For awhile there were major shortages of a number of foods and supplies. One surprise item that disappeared off shelves for quite awhile was toilet paper of all things. It was really ridiculous and I was lucky in that, a week before the stores were all cleared out, I had re-stocked on toilet paper, disinfectant and rubbing alcohol. Even now it can still be hard to find certain things – and for awhile in November it looked like we were all going thru another major toilet paper shortage. Not to mention all the other things that have been enacted. Some-like six foot distancing, washing hands longer and sneezing into your arm and such-made sense. Others-like plastic “walls” between people working (like the virus can’t go around those walls?) and not being able to be at a bar unless you order food (guess the virus can’t enter your mouth when you have food blocking it right?)- not so much. It’s just been a crazy time for so many people and I don’t believe we’ll ever be able to go back to “normal” (to what it was like before) any time soon, if ever…
There has also been a steep learning curve for me in regards to several areas now that my Dad is no longer here. I miss him so much…I know he did a lot for me and Mom but I didn’t realize that he did so much and just trying to get his estate in order-especially with the constraints I currently have on my time-will take at least another year if not more… Having said that, me, Mom, Scruffy and Five-Paw are doing fine. It’s like I have “kids” now in a number of ways and it’s really a “learn as you go” type thing for me more often than not. This is now, obviously, my main focus for the time being-which is absolutely fine with me. My parents brought me into this world-I wouldn’t exist without them. It’s the very least that I can do. It also makes me appreciate so much what my parents have done and sacrificed for me. Having said that, there are a number of frustrations that come with this new role-and it doesn’t help that one of the “gifts” Sarco gives to its host is that it amplifies emotions-especially the bad ones. For example, I was trying to fix a door lock and, being the “Handy Andy” (as my Dad would call me) that I am with tools, I fucked up the job and the lock was jammed so it wouldn’t unlock. This growing frustration eventually led to me kicking the damn door down (!). “Wayno Smash!” right? 😀
One thing that happened this year, that was all messed up, was finding out that someone was impersonating me on Instagram. He was using a pic of me and my name in the hopes of trying to solicit money from people. Some people told me that now I was “famous” and, initially, I have to admit I was a little flattered at first cause I thought it was a fan thing. That disappeared quickly once I found out this person was trying to solicit money. It’s a freaky feeling to see a page where someone is posting under your name and picture. I was able to get rid of that fake profile, but I have a bad feeling more will arrive as time goes on. Lovely…
Obviously, with all that has been said above, my “creative” pursuits have taken a back seat-but not just cause of my new role with family. Covid-19 really did a number on this front for creatives. Movie theaters eventually shut down, restrictions on filming and performing music and more have really hit the fields of acting / music hard. Anyone who has seen my CHRONOLOGY page can see how, in past years, I was involved in a huge number of projects per year. In 2020, I was only involved in one new film (CRYPTIDS) and finished filming on another (TALES OF DRACULA: Dracula Meets The Wolfman)-aka “Tales 2.” I was seriously considering joining SAG-AFTRA at the beginning of the year, but now glad I didn’t cause I would’ve been in a major catch-22. If things get better on several fronts, I will revisit this idea again. In addition, being union might have made me miss the filming I did this year. “Cryptids” is a horror anthology film involving directors Justin M. Seaman and Zane Hershberger. I played the role of “The Man in Black” in a scene with JOE BOB BRIGGS. It was a fun time and a first for me on several levels. Hopefully this will be out some time in 2021.
-The second film I was involved in this year was finishing up on “Tales 2” (sans the ADR I still need to do). I was able to use prescription FX contacts for this one-and it’s a good things cause I really needed this for these scenes. There are some surprises in store for the fans of ToD and hopefully this will also be released sometime in 2021. It was bittersweet to do filming on this on several levels. There has been talk of a “Tales 3” but it depends on how “Tales 2” does so…I’ve already heard some of those details so I hope it goes thru.
-In regards to a number of projects I’ve done that are unreleased, I have no idea on what’s up with them. I’m sure if the people involved wanted me to know and / or be in the loop, they’d contact me-if they wanted to. Having said that, all I’ll say is with some lines of communication, the silence is deafening. To each their own and it is what it is. There have been major changes in a number of areas in my life since late 2019 and this is one of them. I’m not chasing people around over and over like before. If, for example, I’m communicating with someone and they break off contact, and if after one or two messages from me there’s no response, I’ll get the hint and move on. There are still a number of projects that I have no idea what’s going on with. On IMDb it says “Johnny Z” and “Reel Monsters” (aka “In Search Of”) are still in the filming stages so I know that. I have no idea what the status is for the three extra role films I did a few years ago “”Clean,” “The Mental State” and “Sid is Dead” – (although I’ve heard that “Clean” has been released to a degree). “Big Time Adolescence” was released and the scene I was background in got cut out. “Juggernaut” looks like it will finish filming in the first-second quarter of 2021. A “PG-13” version of “Night of Something Strange” was released on You Tube and it’s “different” watching a version of NoSS where the gore / gross scenes are removed. It makes the film shorter at least 🙂 I did get word that “Zillafoot” will be getting an official release on DVD (maybe blu-ray?) possibly in February 2021. That would be sweet. Dr. Mosku was one of my favorite roles to play. Maybe one day I can do that again :- although I don’t think that jacket fits me anymore – a blessing or a curse (HA!) 😀
There is one thing I would like to mention that I really haven’t anywhere else. With the exception of ASCAP, “WWJ Productions” is basically no more when it comes to me. I am transitioning to a new company for my projects. I’ve already deleted some of those pages and will get to the others thru out 2021. There may be one or two still up so that my posting about “Romeo 3000” will still be up. If you missed it, this is what I posted on multiple platforms back on May 27, 2020
-This is an update that should have been posted at the time it happened, but as I am still being asked for updates and questions about this project, I will correct that delay now…-As of March 16, 2019 WWJ Productions became no longer involved in the completion of the Feature Film “Romeo 3000. ” I have no idea of its status. To the cast / crew / supporters of R3000-I thank you for all your efforts and hard work.
-I will be posting / promoting the new company when the time is right and am ready to move forward with it. Speaking of “Romeo 3000,” I just wanted to add that it was supposedly released for streaming via Vimeo on September 3, 2020 but the link doesn’t work (and still doesn’t-I just checked). What a surprise…As I’ve said numerous times, “No matter what you say, you’re actions (or lack of) will always speak louder than your words.”
On the music front, if you remember from 2019, I had joined two different projects-a dance band and a metal band called “Beyond Worlds” (BW). I left the dance band halfway thru the year. The scheduling just for rehearsals, was getting harder and harder for me-especially once Covid-19 hit as well as things starting to ramp up (or so I thought at the time) with BW. It didn’t help that rehearsals, for me, were about an hour’s drive (one way)-but it was still manageable). When some new elements were added to the dance band, that made my decision to leave a reality. It’s too bad cause this would’ve been fun and something new for me (playing funk / dance music on guitar-not to mention singing stuff in those, as well as pop, genres). To be honest, if things were different on a number of things I wouldn’t mind seeing if I was able to give it another go. I do want to thank that band cause, even though we didn’t play out, rehearsing with them did expand my playing and thinking with music. It was fun playing with them and, wouldn’t you know it, I was finally starting to get the proper sounds out of my rig for this kind of music just before I left. Great huh?
-With Beyond Worlds, I’m not sure what’s going on but I have the same outlook with music as with films-if people want me to know what’s going on and / or need me, they can contact me. It’s not hard 🙂 (that’s what she said-HA!) 😀 I’m only like this with both areas after I do some initial contact by the way. I just don’t keep asking over and over. With BW, we’d gone into Silver City Studios and recorded the bass, drums and rhythm guitar for four cover tunes – “Thunderstruck” (AC/DC), “I’ll Be Alright Without You” (Journey), “Screaming in the Night” (Krokus) and “Two Tickets to Paradise” (Eddie Money). Then there was a parting between management and our singer, which led to management separating from the band altogether. Then I was told only one of those covers would be recorded to completion-the Krokus song. Last I heard were some demos with some further steps done on the song but that was months ago. I guess things are on standby till further notice. The guys were all easy to work with and I had fun. Time will tell if this continues or not…
I did get to play a tribute show to the members of Four Large Men who are no longer with us (Jerry Yerman, Rich Richmond & Kevin Meacham) on 2/29/2020. That was a bittersweet show on several levels. One interesting note for me is how Sarco now plays into the role of me as live performer with music. I did OK but I now know I have to take several precautions due to Sarco-as I have to do with all areas of my life. The video above is from that show and, on my YouTube page, are the other four clips from that show.
And just to let you all know, CAROLINE BLUE is still alive and kicking (per se) and I’m still working to get not only the new website up, but also releasing new music / music videos. “My Fingers” was finally finished this year so now onto the other songs. I know I’ve said all this for years, but I do get closer every year… Keep an eye out for Da Blue 🙂
One other thing to mention. The number of not only celebrity deaths but those who are closer to us increases as we progress thru this thing called Life. It’s all part of the game, but knowing that doesn’t make it any easier to play. Some passings I post about (Kenny Rogers, Eddie Van Halen, more…) and some I don’t. Unfortunately, as time goes on, this will increase and hit harder – especially those we know in “real life.”. One of the closest people in my life just recently went thru surgery that, if didn’t work or went wrong, could’ve ended her life. The doctor did great and she’s in recovery by the way. Still… It really does make one ponder about things-more and more as time goes on in my opinion. I don’t do this yet, but I can see myself possibly making “thinking” posts here about various things as time goes on. The ideology of “Memento Mori” is becoming more and more focused for me. The coin you see above is actually something I have and carry with me from time to time…
-There have been other things that have happened, but as you may know (or not) that, while I have a very public side of me, I also have a very private side (at least till “Wayne – The Book” is released right? (HA!) 🙂 ). This has definitely been quite a “frustrating” year and, overall, I’m glad that it’s ending. I still miss my Dad everyday and getting to his one year anniversary of his passing with my sanity intact was quite the surprise. I’m doing the best I can to remove stressors from my life when I can. It’s as with this motto I do my best to live up to – “Take things One Step at a Time, One Day at a Time.” Hang in there everyone and look forward to seeing you all for another “Year in Review” next year.